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Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith

"We spent our childhood here"


Brother and sister team Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith have taken charge at Drusillas Park in Sussex, UK, after a childhood spent toddling around the theme park owned by their parents.

Smith and Poland have been appointed joint managing directors at Drusillas, which was acquired by their parents Laurence and Christine Smith in 1997. Cassie Poland started her career at Drusillas in the retail and warehouse team, then spent time in the education department, before heading up the marketing department for six years. When Christine Smith retired in December 2018, Poland assumed the role of joint deputy managing director.

“I feel privileged to be doing a job I love and am thankful I get to work closely with my family,” said Poland. “I’ve worked across many departments within the park and feel that’s given me a fantastic understanding of the business. I’m very excited about the future of Drusillas and will continue to work hard to ensure it remains a place where families can create magical fun-filled memories together.”

Ollie Smith first joined the team in 2009, working in the zoo, before joining the Playland team in 2010, returning from university to run the marketing department as maternity cover, and taking up directorship in 2020.

“It’s been fantastic to return to the park where I spent my childhood,” said Smith. “We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline.”

Resigning from his role as managing director, Laurence Smith said: “Since we reopened in May 2021, Cassie and Ollie have effectively been running Drusillas. My role has deliberately changed, and the next step is for me to give myself a new title of chair. They’ve done a great job in difficult circumstances over the last year. I’ll still be working on a part time basis – I don’t want the gold watch quite yet!”

Recent developments at Drusillas include the opening of sensory attraction Spark, renovation of the park’s under fives’ play area, migration to a new ticketing system, a new naturalistic animal enclosure, and the upcoming opening of The Rainforest Adventure attraction.

Cassie and Ollie enjoyed a childhood at the park Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Laurence and Christine Smith have now stepped down as managing directors Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas’ attractions are aimed at children aged between 2 and 10 Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Rides include the Rainforest Carousel, Flying Cheetahs and Hippopotobus (pictured) Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas Park offers a range of ‘Animal Close Encounter Experiences’ Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
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Jobs    News   Products   Magazine
People
Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith

"We spent our childhood here"


Brother and sister team Cassie Poland and Ollie Smith have taken charge at Drusillas Park in Sussex, UK, after a childhood spent toddling around the theme park owned by their parents.

Smith and Poland have been appointed joint managing directors at Drusillas, which was acquired by their parents Laurence and Christine Smith in 1997. Cassie Poland started her career at Drusillas in the retail and warehouse team, then spent time in the education department, before heading up the marketing department for six years. When Christine Smith retired in December 2018, Poland assumed the role of joint deputy managing director.

“I feel privileged to be doing a job I love and am thankful I get to work closely with my family,” said Poland. “I’ve worked across many departments within the park and feel that’s given me a fantastic understanding of the business. I’m very excited about the future of Drusillas and will continue to work hard to ensure it remains a place where families can create magical fun-filled memories together.”

Ollie Smith first joined the team in 2009, working in the zoo, before joining the Playland team in 2010, returning from university to run the marketing department as maternity cover, and taking up directorship in 2020.

“It’s been fantastic to return to the park where I spent my childhood,” said Smith. “We have some very exciting plans in the pipeline.”

Resigning from his role as managing director, Laurence Smith said: “Since we reopened in May 2021, Cassie and Ollie have effectively been running Drusillas. My role has deliberately changed, and the next step is for me to give myself a new title of chair. They’ve done a great job in difficult circumstances over the last year. I’ll still be working on a part time basis – I don’t want the gold watch quite yet!”

Recent developments at Drusillas include the opening of sensory attraction Spark, renovation of the park’s under fives’ play area, migration to a new ticketing system, a new naturalistic animal enclosure, and the upcoming opening of The Rainforest Adventure attraction.

Cassie and Ollie enjoyed a childhood at the park Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Laurence and Christine Smith have now stepped down as managing directors Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas’ attractions are aimed at children aged between 2 and 10 Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Rides include the Rainforest Carousel, Flying Cheetahs and Hippopotobus (pictured) Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
Drusillas Park offers a range of ‘Animal Close Encounter Experiences’ Credit: Drusillas Zoo Park
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We’re a Yorkshire-based online printer, founded in 2009 by Adam Carnell and James Kinsella. [more...]
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WhiteWater was born in 1980 to create places where families unite and make joyful lasting memories [more...]
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By combining lighting, video, scenic and architectural elements, sound and special effects we tell s [more...]
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We create guest experiences others don’t, masterplan like no one else can, and give the world’s bi [more...]
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Red Raion TV - Testimonial: Leolandia
When you work in the Attractions Industry, there’s nothing better than seeing that dreamy look in the eyes of the people who have just tried your attraction. Find out more...
More videos:
Red Raion Showreel 2021 – Red Raion
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+ More directory  
DIARY

 

07 Jun 2022

World Sauna Forum 2022

Lapland Hotels Arena, Tampere, Finland
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Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR
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